Discussion 1: Puppies Cause you to Live Longer? – PSY3211 Discussion Group 8

PSY3211 – Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology


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This discussion is related to your Day One Lecture Material, your Chapter 1 (Salkind) material, and your Chapter 5 (Smith and Davis) material.

Read the article below:

Dogs Can Help You Live Longer, As If You Needed Another Reason To Get One

Puppies are good for the soul — and for the heart, it turns out.

By, Jamie Feldman

A new scientific review showed that having a dog can improve your longevity.

Next time someone accuses you of being “dramatic” for saying you “can’t live without your dog” ― we give you permission to show them this report. The results are more delightful than belly rubs and wet nose boops combined.

A new scientific review, which encompasses about 70 years of research surrounding the health benefits of dog ownership (Links to an external site.), showed that having a dog can improve your longevity. The findings were published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal.

According to 10 studies included in the review, dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in risk of death compared to non-ownership, with six studies showing “significant reduction in the risk of death.”

In one instance, simply petting a dog was found to have the same effect on blood pressure (Links to an external site.) as medication, CNN reported.

The new review reflected 2013 findings that dog ownership is “probably associated” with decreased cardiovascular disease risk, likely thanks to the fact that dog owners engage in more physical activity like taking their dog on walks.

So does this mean we should all run out and adopt doggos, throwing all caution (and our bank statements) to the wind? Not totally. The findings are not fully conclusive and there are some limitations with the research.

The review’s authors mentioned in the analysis that some of the studies only featured small sample sizes, so the results are not totally indicative of the larger population. Some of the studies also did not take into account a number of other factors, like body mass index, smoking status and diet.

However, the review states that dog ownership is associated with “all-cause mortality possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality.” So while more work needs to be done, we’re more than okay with taking this news as at least a light suggestion.

Article from the Huffington Post: Dogs Can Help You Live Longer, As If You Needed Another Reason To Get One Link (Links to an external site.)

After reading the material post a comment discussing whether you agree or disagree with the headline of the article. In your comment, include what you would assess as methodological flaws or problems with this conclusion. Do you agree with the article title that having a dog can cause you to live longer? This answer should contain at least 1 paragraph of writing.
In your post, include a more appropriate title for the paper that you feel represents the findings from the study.
Reply to a comment posted by a group member. In your reply state whether you agree or disagree with their assessment of the article and explain why you agree or disagree.












For most of my childhood years I had a pet at home and loved it. I am a huge animal lover (trying to be a vegetarian with a Hispanic family can be challenging but I’m working on it) unfortunately I have to disagree with this article. Having to walk your dog does obligate you to have more physical activities but the role can also cause more stress. Having to worry about providing for your pet and making sure you spend enough time with them when there are busy days, can be worrisome. One problem I noticed with this study is they didn’t consider other variables such as lifestyles and eating choices for pet owners vs non-pet owners that can cause a huge impact on the results of this study. I don’t agree with the title of this post; a better title would have been “Owning a dog can help keep you active and healthier”.